Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Back Seat Drivers

“Peep. Peep. Peep.” For about 4 miles, that was the conversation among the new Excel Academy chickens riding in the truck’s back seat. They were on their way to the Mukaya campus where they would become a part of the agriculture program. Caring for and feeding the chickens would provide a practical learning experience for our students. Eventually the chickens would add protein to the students’ diet.

Agriculture is an important component of secondary education in South Sudan. Big open spaces and fertile land in the equatorial region offer students an opportunity to cultivate, plant, grow and harvest gardens as well as to raise livestock. It is common to see cabbages, tomatoes, okra and other nutritious food growing in small plots at Africa ELI sponsored schools. And no one gives it a second thought when goats or chickens wander through a classroom during English, math or science instruction. Occasionally, a rabbit will hop between the desks.

Africa ELI promotes practical agricultural learning experiences at each Excel Academy. By contributing resources toward garden seeds and tools along with supplying livestock for animal husbandry projects, Africa ELI works toward sustainable solutions in a developing environment. A robust agriculture program in secondary school will contribute to the students’ ability to grow and provide food for their future families and communities. Surplus crops may be sold for income generation with the earnings applied toward staple products and daily expenses.

Here are photos of some crops and livestock at Africa ELI supported schools.

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